2 Years Later, China Finally Takes the L
It's okay, China; you're not the only one. The world's largest, strongest, and final holdout in the battle against C-19 has finally joined the rest of the world by admitting defeat.
Except, don't be thinking Xi stood out there and said, "Yeah, the virus won…a bunch of you are about to die." Instead, Xi and the CCP basically said, "we're not going to trap you in your house for days/weeks at a time anymore."
The nation announced the official beginning of the pullback of China's now-infamous zero-C19 policy. The policy did an undeniably incredible job of quelling cases out the gate. But since then, economic woes and a desire for freedom of movement have started to take primacy two years later.
Is it a coincidence that China waited until after Xi's securing an unprecedented third term? Is it a coincidence this comes just days after nationwide protests?
Probably not. And what's almost definitely not a coincidence is this change of pace emerging while the Middle Kingdom's economy starts to show signs of undue pain.
For starters, recent reports showed that both the nation's exports and imports contracted at the fastest rate in multiple years last month, falling 8.7% and 10.6%, respectively. Needless to say, that was much higher than expected.
Adding to the pain, this data comes to light just a month after consumer spending in the world's most populous country surprisingly contracted by 0.5%. All in all, a series of reports highlighting broad-scale economic pain has largely driven China's government to the realization that a large-scale relaxation of C-19 rules is well overdue.
The scary part now is what happens to the healthcare system. You can be about as certain as with anything that cases are about to rip in the wrong direction.
With less than two-thirds of the elderly population fully vaccinated and an already (mildly) stressed hospital system, we can only hope that things don't turn out as bad as they could. But then again, they'll probably just build 50 brand-new, state-of-the-art hospitals this weekend, anyway.
Shoutout to the Peel readers there. Let us know how things turn out on the ground!
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